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Grilled Sesame Chicken

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Grilled Sesame Chicken

Grilled Sesame Chicken

Jessica Braider
Scramble fan Esther Schrader often serves this delectable chicken, adapted from a recipe in Fine Cooking magazine. This is a fabulous dish to grill in advance and reheat just before dinner or enjoy cold.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings


  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce (sold with Asian foods)
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce (or use any variety) (use wheat/gluten-free, if needed)
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger peeled and grated or minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco) or more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder or ground cloves
  • 3 lbs. skinless bone-in dark meat chicken, such as drumsticks, thighs, and/or wings
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)


  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the chicken, sesame seeds, and scallions (optional). Remove 2 Tbsp. of the sauce and set it aside for serving. Add the chicken to the bowl and coat it with the marinade. Refrigerate it for at least one hour and up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates (or you can bake the chicken on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 30 minutes).
  • Reserving the marinade, grill the chicken for 7 - 8 minutes, until it no longer sticks to the grates, flip it, and brush it with the marinade that the chicken was in.
  • Grill the chicken for 7 - 8 more minutes, flip it, and brush it with the marinade again, and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Flip the chicken once more, and let it cook for about 5 more minutes until it is nicely browned and cooked through (the chicken should have cooked for 25 – 30 minutes total by now).
  • Transfer the chicken to a platter, brush it with the 2 Tbsp. of sauce that was set aside, and sprinkle it with the sesame seeds and scallions (optional) before serving it. Alternatively, refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • There is no need to marinate the chicken in advance. Simply combine all the ingredients except the chicken, sesame seeds, and optional scallions in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Then add the chicken, turning several times to coat it with the sauce. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 6 hours. Drizzle some of the sauce over the chicken (and your side dish!) and top the dish with the sesame seeds and scallions (optional) when serving. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Peel and grate or mince the ginger, peel the garlic, make the marinade (reserve 2 Tbsp. for serving) and marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, toast the sesame seeds if necessary, slice the scallions if using, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the hot pepper sauce and use 3/4 tsp. Chinese five spice powder in the marinade. Top the chicken with the scallions.
Tip: As you can imagine, here at The Scramble, we are big advocates of sending kids to school (or camp) with a homemade lunch. Instead of having a whole separate school lunch repertoire to shop for, I pack up little containers of dinner as I tidy up after the meal. Then those servings are ready to be dropped into school lunch bags 1st thing in the morning – a great way to provide a healthy and easy lunch, reduce waste, and save money at the same time.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 250, Total Fat: 11g, 17%; Saturated Fat: 2g, 10%; Cholesterol: 110mg, 37%; Sodium: 560mg, 23%; Total Carbohydrate: 8g, 3%; Dietary Fiber: 1g, 4%; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 29g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword All, Company/Entertaining, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Grilling, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Carb, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Picnic, Potluck/Buffet, Slow Cooker, Spring, Summer, Winter
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